Category Archives: Breakfast

Potcakes (Potato Cakes)


A few years back we were on vacation and happened upon a restaurant called Grannies’s.

With a name like that, we had to try it.

C’mon, Grannie’s?

Visions of a grandmother standing over a stove, stirring something that smelled like heaven and tasted as good as it smelled.

So we went in and looked at the menu.  I like reading menu’s before I try the food out.  Sometimes the menu just gets downright silly with the descriptions, and you wonder why someone will shell out good money for spinach that was harvested using only gently sustainable efforts on the latter side of a new moon..

You’ve read that kind of menu, I know you have.  And maybe you’ve eaten there as well, but I love seeing the descriptions of the food offered at any new restaurant I want to try.

This menu was pretty basic, but they had one item on there that stood out for me.   And that was the Potcakes.  The only other Potcakes I’d ever heard of were the dogs that you find in the Bahamas.

So I ordered them as my side to the meatloaf, and they were so good.   Deep fried potato cakes, crispy and melty and yummy, with little bits of sweet onions mixed in.

I’ve tried to replicate them ever since, with no success.   I’ve actually eaten the evidence of my failures.  Although some have been consigned as offerings to the Kitchen Goddess. sigh

I finally done did it.   Made them, just the way I remember those Potcakes from so long ago.   And all it took was me messing up some mashed potatoes and deciding to take that failure and make a potato cake for lunch.    I’d made the mashed taters with new Yukon Gold potatoes and they didn’t have the starch in them like russets, and quite frankly they were a little gluey.  I ate a bit of them, then consigned the rest to the fridge.

I didn’t measure out exactly, but I had about 1 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes (made with fresh gold potatoes, not russet.   I just added an egg, about 1/2 cup of Wondra flour, mixed that all up with half a chopped onion and then fried them in a little hot oil.

I then glopped (technical term here) some Creme Fraiche on top of them and proceeded to eat three of them.  I left one for later.

OK, so I ate the first one I took a picture of, then proceeded to eat two more.

But they were worth it.

So, the next time you make gluey mashed taters, try adding a little Wondra Flour, a chopped onion and an egg to them, and frying them up as Potcakes.

Æbleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)


I love æbleskiver, and in fact make them for myself every so often, they do take a little planning, but then again, it’s for me and I’m worth it.    And gee, sometimes I just plain crave a taste from my childhood.

Mom used to make these in the summer when we were haying, she’d make them as a kind of fourth meal, and they would be inhaled.   Or she’d make them as a special breakfast from time to time, but would make a couple of pans first, then start serving them, cause gee, they would disappear rapidly, and we’d all be waiting in breathless anticipation for the next batch to come out of the pan.

To make æbleskiver, you need a special pan.   I have two, one which my mom gave me after I got married and the second one is one that my husband’s grandmother gave me.

She actually gave me her pan, the one she’d been using for many years.    Grandma not only knew what aebleskiver were, she’d made them.   When she found out I knew how to make them as well, she gave me her pan.  And I treasure it.   And yes, I did make her some æbleskiver from time to time as well.   In fact, on one memorable occasion, I made a batch, took them to her in the nursing rehab facility where she was staying at one time, and let her feast on them.   I think I was in danger of being mugged by her fellow inmates, they were jealous, as were the nurses.     That’s OK, Grandma got a nice dinner that night.

Sorry, I get sidetracked sometimes.

At any rate, I store my pans in brown paper sacks, the kind you get from the grocery store.  Keeps them rust-free and clean.  I think that’s the way my mom stored hers as well.

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
** 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
1/4 stick clarified butter for frying, or peanut oil.

Separate eggs, whip egg whites til dry, and set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt together, set aside.
Mix egg yolks with sugar and beat til the sugar is dissolved and the eggs yolks look almost white.   The sugar crystals should be dissolved into the yolks.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar with the buttermilk, blend well.  Add the melted butter.

Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing as little as possible, you will still have chunks of dry in there, and that’s OK.   Fold in the egg whites, cutting it through just four times.

By which I mean, you put the whites in the bowl, cut through the center and fold towards you, turn the bowl 1/4 way, fold once again, turn bowl, fold again, and finish by folding it through one last time.    Just be careful to not overmix.   You will have chunks of egg whites, but they will be small, and you do want them there.

** I added two tablespoons of sour cream this time round and really liked the taste.   I would say this would be optional, nah, from now on, I’m adding sour cream to this recipe.   I’ve been seeing a lot of pancake recipes with sour cream in them, and wanted to try it out.  I just love being a guinea pig  tastetester.

 Just like this.

Heat pan, and place a little clarified butter in each indentation, let heat.      Don’t worry if you have chunks of egg whites in the batter, they will cook just fine.   This was my husband’s grandmother’s pan.  I think she would love the idea it was being featured here.

Have a knitting needle or a wooden skewer handy or even a fork.

As soon as you’ve finished pouring the batter in the last indentation, the first aebleskiver will be ready for turning.

And I forget to take a picture of me turning them.

You lift up the edge, turning the ball a little and letting the batter flow from the middle to the bottom of the indentation.  Proceed around the whole pan, turning each one just about a quarter turn.  You do need some practice on this, and be ready to sacrifice a pan full getting the hang of it.   I usually screw up the first pan full as well, but I eat the mistakes so no one ever knows.  Just don’t tell anyone, OK?

By the time you’ve finished turning them all once, they should be a nice golden brown, and spherical in shape.  Take them out and place them onto a heated platter or just onto the plates and serve.

Traditionally these are served with Raspberry Jam and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.   I like mine with Strawberry Jam or syrup or just dipped in some sugar, there is no wrong way to eat æbleskiver.

Ramps


What are Ramps you ask?  Well, I had to.  Ask that is.

Basically Ramps are wild onions gathered and eaten in the spring, usually around May.

I’d seen a few recipes that called for Ramps over the years in various blogs, and they were something that intrigued me, a lot.   I love onions, oniony things of all sorts.   Wait a minute, is oniony a word?  Never mind, I love onions, raw, browned, fried, however you want to fix them, I love them.   Even if I have to go and brush my teeth right afterward cause the onion flavour tends to linger.  TMI?  Never mind.

A chance conversation with some friends a couple of weeks ago led to my being gifted with some Ramps the other day.   I got so excited.   And when I was asked how I was going to fix them, I said immediately, I’m going to sauté them gently

and then fold them into some scrambled eggs and eat some that way.

So I did, and had them for breakfast this morning with some lovely sourdough whole wheat rye bread.  (the bread was some another friend had gifted me, do I have awesome friends or what?)    And OMG, it was so good.   I just have one question, is it too soon to have breakfast again?

Never mind.

Since I’d never cooked Ramps before I did not want to overcook them, so these were a touch undercooked and a bit on the crunchy side, but I ate them anyways.     I have a few left and have plans for them as well.

To start with I cut off the roots, as close to the roots as possible (I didn’t throw them away though, I have plans for them).
Washed them, and then cleaned the top a little, that is the red thing you see.

and another shot

Well, they were so pretty…   Kind of like ART on a plate.

I cut them lengthwise in quarters and sautéed them gently in some butter before I added them to my almost finished scrambled egg.     And when I tasted them, well, gee I can now understand why they have festivals celebrating Ramps.

If you have a chance to try some, please don’t hesitate, and if you have a few extra’s and feel generous, I’m over here.    Just kidding, I think.

Peggy’s Paparito’s


If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I like a bit of spice in my food.  More specifically, I like Mexican type spice.  Well, Jalapeno’s, Serrano’s, Guajillo Chilies, Habanero’s, Anaheim Chiles, to name but a few.    I actually posted this recipe on my other blog a couple of years ago, but decided to revisit the recipe.   OK, I made some the other day, which is why I’m featuring it again.

A few years back I had the pleasure of meeting and making friends with a lovely lady named Peggy.   She was a transplanted Texan, and loved all things Tex-Mex.    She gave me the following recipe, and it ranks right up there with all the other Tex-Mex foods I love.

And you know, it would be a great light dinner as well.

I only know this cause I’ve done it.

To start with, boil a couple or three potatoes.  Red Potato’s, yellow potatoes or any other firm fleshed potato works best in this dish.  Burbanks or Russets, not so much.  They’re too mealy.

Cook the potatoes til they are done and set aside.  Peel them if you wish or not, personally I like unpeeled.  Peels are good food.   Chop them roughly or slice them into nice uniform pieces if that’s how you like your potatoes.   Does not matter at all.  Set them aside, you’re not ready for them yet.

Heat a pan and cook up some sausage.  I’ve used hot sausage, sausage patties, bulk sausage, really, whatever floats your boat.  If you use regular sausage, you can always amp up the heat a little with some jalapeno’s or some pepper flakes, or…    Cook until done.  Set aside.

Add a little oil to the pan if you like, or use the sausage fat, then cook off one chopped onion in the grease.   Cook til almost done, then add the potatoes, and brown them just a little.   Add in the sausage just towards the end.   Add some chopped green pepper if you like or do as I do, add in a small can of canned green chiles.  Stir that around, just a little.  Set aside, and keep warm.
Then scramble up a couple of eggs per person, or just one if you like, cook til soft set and set aside.

Warm up some flour tortilla’s, then divide the meat/potato mixture amongst how many people or tortilla’s you’re making and roll them up with some grated longhorn cheese.

Pour some warmed green tomatillo sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler to melt a little.

Serve hot.

Peggy’s Paparito’s
Stir fried potatoes with skins  ( I do about 3 potatoes for the two of us)
Scrambled eggs  1-2 per person
Grated long horn cheese
1/2- 1 Onion
Chorizo sausage or sage sausage, fried and crumbled
Diced green chiles and/or diced green pepper
Add a diced jalapeno or two if you like a little more heat, which I do.
 Flour tortilla’s
Mix above ingredients together and roll in a flour tortilla, burrito style.
Serve with warmed Green Chile sauce poured over and a sprinkle of cheese.
1 can green Chile sauce (Herdez  brand or another one like that.)

And if you have too much filling, it freezes beautifully, and you’ve got a head start on another breakfast.

Peggy’s Paparito’s


A few years back I had the pleasure of meeting and making friends with a lovely lady named Peggy.   She was a transplanted Texan, and loved all things Tex-Mex.    She gave me the following recipe, and since I had the ingredients to hand that day, I decided to go ahead and make this.   I have to admit to making more then we can eat at any one time so I can keep the main ingredients in the freezer and then all I have to do is scramble some eggs, heat up the Chile Verde sauce, roll them in a tortilla and VOILA!  Breakfast or a light lunch or dinner.

This is a really great go-to quick breakfast, leisurely Sunday breakfast or light meal.   And the best part, you can adjust the heat level to your own liking.    We like it on the hot side in our house, so I use hot sausage for this.

Pan with potatoes, green chiles, sausage and onions.

 

Scrambled Eggs
Filling
Wrapped and ready to eat
Peggy’s Paparito’s
Stir fried potatoes with skins  ( I do about 6 small red potatoes for the two of us)
Scrambled eggs  1-2 per person
Grated long horn or Colby Jack cheese
1/2- 1 Onion
Chorizo sausage or sage sausage, fried and crumbled   ( I use Wainwrights Hot Sausage), if you use sage sausage, add some red pepper flakes for more heat if you like.  (and I do).
Diced green chiles and diced green pepper
Add a diced Jalapeño or two if you like a little more heat.
Mix above ingredients together and roll in a flour tortilla, burrito style.
Serve with warmed Green Chile sauce poured over and a sprinkle of cheese.
Flour tortilla’s
1 can green Chile sauce (Herdez or another one like that.

How easy is that?   I like to put the onions and jalapeno’s in the pan with the potatoes, it adds a nice little nuance or level of flavor.   But you can vary this however you like to your taste.   And the best part, you can freeze the leftovers and have a head start on your next breakfast.

French Toast with Home Made Butter


I was hungry yesterday, and was looking at some bread I’d purchased at the Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago, actually it’s been hiding in my freezer and since I’d forgotten about it, I finally pulled it out and started eating it again.   This loaf was made  with Chia Seeds in it and makes a wonderful toast.   But yesterday, I was more in the mood for something sweet.  So, I made me some French Toast with it, and then topped it with the Homemade butter I’d just made.   I make my butter from time to time, usually when I’ve got some leftover whipping cream in the fridge that’s about ready to start walking on its own.  In other words, well, you get my drift.   The butter I made the other day was more like the French butter because the cream was just on the verge of being sour, one more day in the fridge and it would have turned on me.

I put two and two together and came up with this.

My French Toast batter is dead simple.   Just whisk together eggs, milk, a half teaspoon of sugar for each egg you use and most important,  a tablespoon or so of melted butter.   Well, you know I used some of the butter I’d just made for that.

I cooked the french toast in the pan until they were lovely and golden brown, topped them with the butter.   And then added some syrup.   They were so good.   And because the bread was so hearty, the meal actually lasted with me for a while.

In fact, it was so good, I think I’ll do a repeat today. And I did.  But this time I took some more pictures, and better ones, I think.

So, after you’ve whisked together your batter, then you dunk the bread.  And a side note here, don’t use that soft, white supermarket bread for this.  Get yourself some artisan bread or better yet, some nice homemade bread, and if its whole grain, so much the better.  Let it get a touch stale, all that will do is enable it to sop up more of the egg batter.   Then, dunk it.

You can see the bits of melted butter sitting on top of the bread here.

 

The Chia seeds are so pretty inside the slice.

Let it sit in the batter for a few minutes, add a second slice of bread, and move the first piece to the top of the stack, then rotate them a couple more times so they can both suck up the batter.    You can just see it happening here.
Place them in a pan over med-low heat, and let them cook on each side until they’re browned.

After they’ve browned and cooked through, then plate them and add a little more of that home-made butter on top.   Then my Danish side came out here.   I looked at those wonderful slices of bread sitting on the plate and they looked a little naked,

and then I glanced at the jar of Strawberry Jam, which had just about a tablespoon and a half of jam left, and the next thing I knew I’d glopped the jam onto the plate and it looked even better than yesterday.

 

See what I mean.   I grew up with putting jam on french toast or pancakes, very rarely did we use syrup.  It just wasn’t done.

See the little Chia seeds in there?

And after one bite, I knew why we used jam on our breakfast breads.   It was even better than yesterday.
Hope  you’re having a good day as well, and I’ll see you later.